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No Ordinary Marriage

Marriage is hard. Plain and simple, no holds barred…marriage ain’t easy. Selfishness, laziness, possessiveness, and pressures all factor into what makes marriage a matter of the heart. With an astronomical number of marriages breaking up and ending in divorce (both within and outside the Christian culture), divorce is the number one killer of marriages. To many, getting out is much easier and more fruitful than putting in the effort and strain of fixing and focusing on their current marriage.

I would like to share with you a resource I received from Crossway entitled, “No Ordinary Marriage”. As the title suggests, the goal of Christian marriage is to extra-ordinary. Extra ordinary in that is for God’s glory and pleasure more than for our own.

So the natural question is, how do we make our marriage that way?

First, as Savage presents, husband and wife must know their responsibilities and duties within the marriage and perform them joyfully and purposefully for the Lord. Second, they must realize they are not two people living together. Instead, they are one spirit fused from two. Third, they must live for something greater than themselves. Savage calls this cruciform love and single heartedness. Living for and because of God’s glory will focus the couple on having a God honoring and Christ exalting marriage.

This is a good resource book for pastors, lay leaders, counselors and couples. The goal of marriage must be more than to sustain, it must be to glorify God!

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All Pro Dad

I am not a man’s man so to speak. Not much into sports or football or crushing things with my head. I don’t worry about having a six pack or cool shoes. I don’t sport three day old growth on my face, mainly because I can’t grow it. But one thing I try to do day in and day out is be a better father to my three children than the day I was before.

Honestly, I fail and epically at all sometimes. But other times, nuggets from things I have read or seen break through nd make a huge difference. I want to share a book with you that I think will make you not only a better dad but a better husband and son.

“All Pro Dad” by Mark Merrill focuses in on seven key influencers that each man can take to influence and win the hearts of his family. These include:

  1. Know your makeup (who am I)
  2. Know your mind-set (purpose)
  3. Know your motive (why?)
  4. Know your method ( How can I do better)
  5. Know you’re a model (What am I promoting)
  6. Know your message (what do I need to share)
  7. Know your master (who has control)

These 7 points will help any man become more effective and more focused on what it means to lead and guide his family. “All Pro Dad” is not about perfection, it is about leave a generational impact. At one point in the book, it is stated that as a father (or husband) a man never really “arrives” because he should always be striving to grow more. I couldn’t agree more. I appreciate Mark’s heart and message.

To Know and to See

What would you do with a 1000 days if you knew that was all you had left? Would you live for yourself and take care of that bucketlist? Would you buy as much insurance for your family as you could? Would you live with no boundaries, both morally and ethically? Hoe would your last 1000 days define you and what legacy would you leave behind?

In his new book, 1000 Days: The Ministry of Christ, pastor and author Jonathan Falwell tackles these questions as he examines the life of Christ. Christ’s ministry was only a three year stint. However, during that time, what He said, did and revealed God to the world. It is those three years that have produced the Gospels. So what makes these years more important than any other? Simply put: Christ lived intentionally and purposefully.

Falwell does a great job of diving into these years and showing us the true depth and meaning. Moreover, he shows why these 3 years are so vitally important to Christianity today. Anyone looking to examine Christ’s life and ministry would do well to read this book. And anyone looking to grow more like Jesus Christ should do the same.

I look forward to reflecting on what I earned for many days to come.

Re-Centering

What is the center of your life? Is it family, your job, your sports team, money, possessions? There are so many things that vie for our allegiance. And more than that, not only our allegiance, but our ownership. I once heard someone say, “Whatever we own, owns us”. That is true in so many aspects.

A book I received quite a while back has been slowly helping me re-center on what is the core of my whole life. This book is titled, “The Gospel as Center”. It is a collaboration of essays by a great set of minds and thinkers in the evangelical (and overall reformed) world. This book builds a theological foundation on what is essentially the core of all aspects of theology, the Gospel. One thing I enjoyed most about this book was seeing the way the different writers tackled each subject. I love when great minds come together and tackle a project with a mission of proclaiming the Gospel.

This book may be a little technical and academic in some areas. Therefore, its readership may not reach a big audience, but it probably deserve to be read and read slowly by all of us that are constantly battling relativism in ministry and mainstream life.

 

Fully Alive

We settle. It is a fact of life. An unfortunate, but a real one. We settle for less than we should in all areas of life. It is easier to settle. Striving for more takes time, energy and more than we are willing to give. The saddest fact of this settling is that all too often we overdo it in our spiritual walk.

We are covered by grace, but we are never supposed to settle for less than God wants for us. As a man, sometimes the spiritual seems all too emotional and submissive. A lot of times it feels defeatist. But God did not plan that sort of life for men who walk in the steps of His Son, Jesus Christ. We are victors and conquerors.

Patrick Morley has written a great book for men on this topic called Man Alive. Man Alive deals the estimated 90% of Christian men who lead lukewarm, stagnant and defeated lives. Men crave something bigger than themselves that they can purposefully and completely live for. Man Alive calls these “Primal Needs”. Morley breaks them down into seven key areas, addresses them and then makes relevant and practical applications.

This is a good book for every men’s small group and men’s ministry at church. You will also do well to have a personal copy for your own library. 

More than ordinary

What makes a great marriage? Is it time? Is it commitment? Is it selflessness? How do we make our marriages different than that of the over 51% than end in divorce? The answer is simple. We do something different!

“Love, Sex and Happily Ever After” is a new book by Craig Groeschel. In it, he speaks to those preparing for marriage and how they can make sure that they start off on the right page and step. The premise is that marriage is a journey, not a destination. We are never to get so comfortable in our relationship with our spouse that we grow cold and disengaged.

Groeschel offers good advice and practical steps. He holds no punches in parts of the book. The reader can expect a sense of urgency to come across as he reads the book. For example, in one part Groeschel urges the reader to put down the book and go an end a relationship if he knows that he is not in one that is God honoring.

Obviously, this is a from a Christian point of view. Groeschel is the founder pastor of Lifechurch.tv. The end all result is to have a marriage that brings God glory and helps the reader find the person that can live happily ever after with.

More than ordinary

What makes a great marriage? Is it time? Is it commitment? Is it selflessness? How do we make our marriages different than that of the over 51% than end in divorce? The answer is simple. We do something different!

“Love, Sex and Happily Ever After” is a new book by Craig Groeschel. In it, he speaks to those preparing for marriage and how they can make sure that they start off on the right page and step. The premise is that marriage is a journey, not a destination. We are never to get so comfortable in our relationship with our spouse that we grow cold and disengaged.

Groeschel offers good advice and practical steps. He holds no punches in parts of the book. The reader can expect a sense of urgency to come across as he reads the book. For example, in one part Groeschel urges the reader to put down the book and go an end a relationship if he knows that he is not in one that is God honoring.

Obviously, this is a from a Christian point of view. Groeschel is the founder pastor of Lifechurch.tv. The end all result is to have a marriage that brings God glory and helps the reader find the person that can live happily ever after with.